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Sunday, June 16, 2019


(Right: Conductor Robert Moody)

The KZN Philharmonic’s Winter Season ends on June 20, 2019, with notable debuts from two rising stars – the American conductor Robert Moody, and the young Munich-based Korean violinist, Ye-Eun Choi.

The programme features Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Op. 8; Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides, Op. 26, “Fingal’s Cave”, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 in D Major, Op. 107, “Reformation”.

The evening opens with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Graphically representing flowing creeks, singing birds, a shepherd and his barking dog, buzzing flies, storms, drunken dancers, hunting parties, frozen landscapes and warm winter fires, these four famous concerti grossi are among the earliest and most detailed examples of programme music, each with a narrative element. Vivaldi took pains to relate his music to the descriptive texts of the poems that accompanied their publication.

(Left: Violinist Ye-Eun Choi)

Felix Mendelssohn’s concert overture The Hebrides was composed in 1830, revised in 1832, and published the next year as his Op. 26. It was inspired by one of Mendelssohn’s trips to the British Isles, specifically an 1829 excursion to the Scottish island of Staffa, with its basalt sea cave known as Fingal’s Cave. Being a concert overture, The Hebrides is a stand-alone composition in a form common for the Romantic period. Dedicated to King Frederick William IV of Prussia, then Crown Prince of Prussia, the b minor work became part of the standard orchestral repertoire and retains this position to the present day.

A work of the same vintage, the Symphony No. 5 in D Major, Op. 107, known as the “Reformation”, was composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1830 in honour of the 300th anniversary of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession. The Confession was a key document of Lutheranism and its Presentation to Emperor Charles V in June 1530 was a momentous event of the Protestant Reformation. The work was Mendelssohn’s second extended symphony, but was only published in 1868, hence its numbering as ‘5’. Mendelssohn’s sister, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, chose the name Reformation Symphony.

The concert takes place on June 20, 2019, at 19h30 in the Durban City Hall. Book now through Computicket (0861 915 8000).

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